Round One, Fight Four - Hydrafficus Versus Inquisipede

Ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow's fight will be a true Greek Tragedy. First in the ring, I give you:



In retrospect, sending hiphop robot XZ-BOT to ancient Athens was a horrendous idea. "Yo dawg I heard you like hydras" sounded promising, but ended up miring us in the setback-ridden nightmare of project Hydrafficus. A gargantuan chelonian body, controlled by four giraffe necks crammed into the front, sounded reasonable - ingenius, even. But then the talk of elemental attacks started. Now this overpowered disaster has flamethrower eyes, sonic screech generators, poison sludge jets and a tesla cannon, all controlled by irritable, rash giraffes. Not our most tasteful or culturally relevant effort, it has to be said, but certainly extremely dangerous.

Size: Absolutely colossal - no one really wants to get close enough to measure it, but it's as least as big as a house.
Speed: Hydrafficus' tortoise body is pretty bloody slow, but the writhing mess of giraffe heads are fairly supple, and can cover all of the beast's body that isn't protected by shell.
Offense: Where to start? Not to mention stomping and crushing, Hydrafficus' heads each have a special ability. One has flamethrower eyes and another can vomit up lightning, while another spews poison sludge and the fourth barks out powerful sonic concussion waves.
Defense: That shell may only be tortoise shell writ large, but it's still thick enough to count as a fortification in our classification scheme.
Temperament: Stupid, angry, and highly unpredictable.

And set against the aggravated archfiend from the acropolis:



As soon as our advisory team had presented their carboniferous era portfolio to King Ferdinand II's Spanish inquisition, it handed over an astonishing quantity of gold to acquire a 10 foot Arthropleura millipede. Feeling generous, we treated it with a retrovirus containing modern giant centipede DNA, and built it a life support system to maintain its terrifyingly fast metabolism in today's low-oxygen atmosphere. With the help of our technicians, the inquisition team have augmented Inquisipede with twin carbon nanotube drills, each linked to sacs of a potent venom designed to cause massive cellular damage - and terrifying visions of God.

Size: 15ft long
Speed: You have seen centipedes move. This is worse. Like slippery, chittering lightning.
Offense: Pretty weak in terms of brute force, but those drills can inject a venom of truly horrendous potency that's as ruinous to a victim's perception of reality as to its body.
Defense: Sturdy, lightweight chitin.
Temperament: Foul, zealous.






Inquisipede stands transfixed in the glare of clashing elemental glows - Hydrafficus is emerging from the widened arena tunnel, with a terrible roar in his four throats.

One head sweeps the ground madly with flamethrower eyes, while another vomits sludge angrily towards the silently watching Myriapod.

Just as the caustic mess splashes to the arena dust, pummelled by concentric rings of sound from another head, Inquisipede squirms out of the way and crawls forward, low to the ground.

The arthropod makes swift, calm progress, knowing that each clicking footfall brings it closer to the vital strike of the fight. Unflinchingly it slithers through fireballs and lightning, losing a leg here or there, but knowing that victory relies on a resolute opening...


Hydrafficus has barely even cleared the tunnel mouth, when Inquisipede darts in unearthly fashion across the broken ground and slithers up onto one of its necks. Thousands crane their necks to see what occurs, and the greek giant sways its four heads in sudden consternation.

Then, with a piercing whine, the drills are in. Within seconds, the enhanced vascular system of Hydrafficus is drawing the Inquisitorial venom down into the monster's car-sized heart, ready to be blasted up 50 feet of necks and into the minds of four giraffes.


As the chitinous ecclesiarch clings on with hooklike feet, the nightmarish venom begins to take effect...

Holy war breaks out.

Each of the four heads, adamant in its vision of a Single True Deity, goes to war on its fellows. Flames sear scaled flesh, sound waves smack vertebrae into chalky clumps, and electricity makes a sound like a gameboy having a multiple orgasm.

Charred scales rain to the ground, while meaty necks thump at each other like snakes in a boxing match. Inquisipede wriggles deep into baggy folds of tortoise flesh, probing for a way into the soft, tasty darkness of the interior...


With a sickening wet sound like a homeless man drinking a mixture of spaghetti and cartilage chunks, Inquisipede forces its way under Hydrafficus' shell and slides deep into the monster's innards.

The monster's heads are way too busy fighting to notice, and the modified Arthropleurus slides deeper. While the audience bay and scream, unable to work out what is going on in the cataclysm of elemental forces, the inquisitorial invertebrate works its way towards the heart...

It is at this point that Hydrafficus' fourth, Tesla-enabled head undergoes a blinding theological insight. Twisted on searing visions of religious grandeur, the bemused giraffe's head momentarily realises the true meaning of christmas: circular cakes and trees.

Emboldened by this vision of goodwill to all men, the lone head musters all of its will and begins to drag its feuding body towards the edge of the arena. The poison sludge head is already trailing limp in a pool of blood, killed in a meaningless biting match with its one-time brother, while the flamethrower eyes and sound blast heads keep wailing on each other.

Electricity head realises that brotherhood is meaningless without sacrifice, and urges its body onwards to the the threshold of one of the arena's crystal plate windows, while the chitinous adversary pumps venom into aortae and gnaws at vital arteries...

With one final howl to commend it to eternity, the stalwart head plunges through the glass, with forty tons of chelonian bulk behind it. Glass smashes and tumbles out into space, while the surviving heads hack up blood and thrash in uncomprehending panic.

The outrush of air slows - the gaping rent in the window is jammed by Hydrafficus' inert form. The chimera's body swells obscenely as the arena's atmosphere seeks desperately to escape, and blood begins to boil in the monster's ruined insides.

With an almighty wet roar, the epic chelonian's body cavity inverts. Intestines and veins are sucked out through the brute's neck orifice, and with them comes Inquisipede, tumbling helplessly in the frigid blackness of space.

With one last shudder of life, the vast reptile heaves itself backwards, hauling free of the smashed glass. Emergency bulkheads slam into place, and the bleedout of atmosphere stops. Hydrafficus lives, while Inquisipede is left to tumble into the fiery reaches of Earth's polluted stratosphere...

Hydrafficus Wins